Frequently Asked Questions…
What's the "team" vs the "network", and wait, there's a "duo" too. Huh?
Lumos Doula Services is owned and run by Alli Ryan and Lea Wolf; they are available for doula servies as “duo” (this means you hire them together, and they are on a call schedule when it comes to births).
Connie Lambeth and Kristin Enge are available as solo doulas.
All together Alli, Lea, Connie, and Kristin make up the team; as a team they do joint group prenatals, teach, back one another up, and learn together. So clients often get to know the whole team, but the doula(s) they hire are the ones who are at the birth and postpartum doula visits.
Lumos has also created relationships and share space with various Madison area professionals; and in some cases, their services can be included as part of a Lumos experience – these independent contractors make up the Lumos “network”.
And the Lumos duo, team, and network are all supports to one another as well; it is powerful to do this work in community, and we all appreciate having one another!
This seems like it's more for pregnant moms - why might my partner be interested?
Though families often assume that doula support is more for mom, it is often partners who become our biggest supports/cheerleaders after the birth and into the postpartum.
The kinds of things partners note about having worked with a doula:
It was such a relief that she had someone to check in with when she was spinning in worry about all the wacky things that were happening in her body during pregnancy.
It was good to be better prepared for labor and actually taking care of a baby – the classes were really helpful to give me a sense of what to expect.
It was surprisingly fun to meet other parents-to-be and hear about what they were experiencing. We made some new couple-friends through this process.
When my wife “checked out” into labor land, I didn’t have to worry about being the one who remembered everything from the classes and books (especially since she seemed to be the one who did way more reading/info gathering).
It was a relief to have someone we trusted help me best help her in labor.
I was glad to be able to take a quick nap, and stretch my legs to get a cup of coffee when things went long, without having to worry about my wife being left alone.
It was amazing to have someone to call in the middle of the night when our newborn wouldn’t stop crying. We felt so helpless!
Going back to work felt less overwhelming knowing that my wife had support someone coming in to help her to really knew how to be helpful.
How do we meet you to learn more?
Come hang out with us at our monthly Learn About Lumos & Speed Doula event!
We spend about an hour talking about doulas, how the Lumos model works, and giving folks space to ask questions (and don’t worry about needing to come with questions – please feel free to do so! – and also know that we’ll have a list of common questions for you to draw on as well).
We then spend ~30m doing a “Speed Doula” event. It’s like speed dating, but instead of awkwardly spending a few minutes deciding if you have a spark with someone you may or may not want to date, you’ll have 10m to sit with each of the Lumos doulas in small groups to get a feel of each of us. Most doula-hiring decisions are made on a gut level, and getting some more personalized time with your options can often help guide you to your just-right fit.
And if you “just know” who you want to hire – you can reach out and schedule a 30-45m consultation. These consultations are no-obligation, and give you more time to ask questions and learn about both Lumos and the doula you’re meeting with.
And if you do the Speed Doula event – know that you can totally schedule a follow-up consultation if 10m is not enough time – we get it!
Do we get to pick our doula on the team?
A resounding YES! Just like we aren’t in the business of deciding what a “good” birth is for a family, we aren’t in the business of deciding you feels good for a client. We encourage you to sit with the folks who you think you might fit well with, and follow your gut. Hiring a doula is about hiring who you feel comfortable and safe with – and we trust that you’ll know.
Since we would be hiring you for so much more than just the birth, how does "on-call" work?
What’s cool about hiring the doulas within Lumos is that someone from the team is always on call. This means there isn’t a “call window” of 37/38w for birth support (which is fairly standard for birth doulas). If anything comes up at any point in your pregnancy, someone from Lumos is always available to be on-call for you.
What does backup look like if my doula can't be there for my labor?
It isn’t often that back up needs to happen – truly. And also, life happens. No doula can guarantee that they’ll be able to be at every birth, even if the were willing to only take a client once every 6-8w. So as professionals, we make sure we practice alongside others who we trust fully to step in should we not be able to be there for our clients.
Each family we work with has a thorough intake they fill out prenatally; this along with the birth plan is sent to a backup, should a backup doula need to go to the birth. The original doula also communicates with the backup doula any relevant or important info if they are able. The doula who attends the birth will do a birth followup to process the birth.
On the practical side of things, Lumos takes care of the logistics – there isn’t anything clients need to do, other than know that a Lumos doula will be there for them as they navigate their birth.
AND since we work as a team when it comes to group prenatals and teaching – you will likely have had the chance to spend time with all the team members, so it won’t be a stranger walking in the door.
I've never done yoga before, am I gonna feel foolish doing it for the first time as a pregnant person?
Via Kristin –
A question I hear all the time is “ What if I’ve never done yoga before…like ever?” And I get it. The images we see of yoga are of a super skinny girl who has twisted herself into a shape no longer recognizable as a human form. Which is…cool, but not what the practice of yoga is all about.
Prenatal yoga is about embracing the transformation happening in your body and mind while preparing you for your birth. Classes are designed to move you through poses that are shown to help improve circulation, balance, flexibility (even if you don’t think of yourself as a “flexible” person), relaxation & comfort. You will be guided through each pose in a way that meets the needs of your changing body and nurtures your fluctuating emotions and hormones.
Are you going to care if I want pain meds during the birth?
As long as *you* don’t care, nope. A very definitive nope nope nope. It is our job to support families in having an experience that they are going to feel good about; it is *not* our job to decide what that experience should look like. In the research on what families report when they talk about the factors that made for a “good” birth, they talk about feeling involved and respected; they note that they felt like they understood what was going on; and that they were able to make decisions around their care (true emergencies happen <1% of the time - so families nearly always have at least a bit of time to process options and make their own decisions - even if it wasn't a decision they wanted to make). We don't care if you have pain meds for your labor; we care that you feel good about your birth.
My care provider/clinic offers lactation support - will your lactation services be redundant?
Madison is such a fantastic place to be a breastfeeding family! Did you know the number one indicator of success around breastfeeding is support? And we firmly believe there isn’t such a thing as too much support (unless you count family being in your personal space without regard to your comfort level ;). We are thrilled that more clinics and care providers are making breastfeeding support an option for their patients; however there is nothing that beats in-home support. Imagine how complicated it is to get to a scheduled appointment – on time – with a newborn who is awake – and hungry – but not too hungry. Ha! It’s often a lesson in crazy. And breastfeeding is a hormonal process, just like birth – so the stress of getting to in-clinic appointments can sometime stymie the entire process. And there is also nothing like having a number of eyes on a mother-babe dyad. Often our clients are seeing their care providers, accessing our help at home, and seeing Adria at her breastfeeding clinic as well.
Didn't you all used to be in Madison Doula Collective?
For years Lumos founders Alli & Lea worked with Madison Doula Collective (Lea was an MDC founder back in 2011!), and Connie Lambeth was also a member. As Lumos has grown, working alongside the amazing solo-preneurs who had been our supportive/amazing/lovely colleagues for years didn’t make as much sense. We continue to support them, and they us – but none of the Lumos doulas are a part of Madison Doula Collective any longer as we have a different kind of business going.